Ashley Judd posted a tweet Sunday that sent the Internet’s trolls on a spree of rage. The tweet in question was about the Arkansas Razorbacks: “I think Arkansas is playing dirty,” Judd—a fan of the Kentucky Wildcats, who the Razorbacks were playing against at Sunday’s game—tweeted. Then the insults started coming in, so Judd deleted the tweet—and watched as hateful responses kept rolling in.
Tuesday, Judd went on the Today show to talk about the social media abuse and to announce that she’s pressing charges. But she took it a step further Thursday by publishing an essay on Mic about why she thinks it’s important to fight against this type of abuse—and how it all relates back to the physical sexual abuse she’s suffered in the past.
“What happened to me is the devastating social norm experienced by millions of girls and women on the Internet,” Judd wrote, referring to the people who called her “a c–t, a whore or a bitch” and who “threatened rape.” “Online harassers use the slightest excuse (or no excuse at all) to dismember our personhood. My tweet was simply the convenient delivery system for a rage toward woman that lurks perpetually.”
She went on to reveal she’s a “survivor of sexual assault, rape and incest.” “I am greatly blessed that in 2006, other thriving survivors introduced me to recovery,” she said. “My own willingness, partnered with a simple kit of tools, has empowered me to take the essential odyssey from undefended and vulnerable victim to empowered survivor.”
The Insurgent actress ended the essay by encouraging “righteous allies and intervening bystanders” to keep speaking out against abuse. “Keep at it—on the Internet, at home, at work and in your hearts, where the courage to tackle this may fundamentally lie,” she wrote. “We have much to discuss, and much action to take. Join me.”
Read the entire essay at Mic’s website.